ROCKORT — Down East Magazine has announced the 2022 Down East Lobster Roll Competition. Registration for the Lobster Roll Competition opened Feb. 1 and will run through May 1.

This year’s competition will be virtual, encouraging readers to sample lobster rolls from as many registered vendors as they would like before voting on their favorite. The voting period will run from May 2 to July 17 with winners being announced in the September issue of the magazine, Down East’s Best of Maine issue.

“The Maine lobster roll is our iconic dish,” Down East editor-in-chief Brian Kevin said. “It’s the perfect mix of an indulgence and an unpretentious hand-food, the perfect mix of buttery and salty and warm and cool. It’s the perfect food for summertime in Maine. And there’s just enough variation from one lobster shack to the next, or from one restaurant to another take-out stand to another food truck, that you could eat your way around the state all summer and not get bored. Never mind all the great scenery you’d take in.”

The Down East Lobster Roll Competition started in 2017 and was held again in 2018 as an in-person event. After a brief break, the competition came back virtually in 2021, naming Taste of Maine in Woolwich as the winner, with Beal’s Lobster Pier of Southwest Harbor taking second place, and Must Be Nice Lobster Co., of Belfast, taking third.

“Last year’s Down East Lobster Roll Competition turned me on to a handful of lobster-roll purveyors I’d never visited,” Kevin says. “And I know it did the same for readers because we hear from them. Playing along and voting and sharing, having that excuse to detour to a new-to you lunch stop — it just turned into this great complement to peoples’ Maine summer travels. And it’s a terrific anchor for our annual Best of Maine issue, which a certain kind of die-hard Maine fanatic looks forward to all year.”

Vendors, such as restaurants, lobster or seafood shacks and food trucks may register for this year’s competition at downeast.com/2022-lobster-roll-contest-entry. The entry fee is $500. All participating vendors are promoted in Down East’s May, June, and July issues as well as on downeast.com and the magazine’s social media accounts. Winners receive full- or half-page ads in Down East magazine and are displayed on downeast.com.

For more information about Down East magazine, please visit downeast.com.